GM Crops – The elephant in the room? Sustainable agriculture still low down on EU climate change agenda
Brussels, 19 June 2009
GM crops can and already do play an important role in reducing the negative environmental impacts of agriculture and feeding a growing population in a worsening climate, reveals a report published today by EuropaBioi. Furthermore, this contribution will only increase as their cultivation becomes even more widely adopted around the world. Nevertheless, this fact continues to be ignored by many EU regulators, as is evidenced by its repeated non-appearance on DG Environment’s Green Week agenda.
‘It’s both worrying and perplexing that the impact of agriculture, in general, gets such a low billing on next week’s agenda and that the benefits of green biotech will likely not even be mentioned” said Nathalie Moll, Director of Agricultural Biotech at EuropaBio, “Even more so when you consider that whilst we scramble to discover and apply new technologies to reduce emissions in the fossil fuel-based economy, we reject tried and tested solutions in agriculture - the second most impactful sector.”
Today’s report highlights the significant potential of Agricultural biotech to reduce GHG emissions, help crops adapt to a changing climate and produce more food from less available land. In this way, green biotech contributes to the range of options to help farmers adopt sustainable agricultural practices that can tackle tomorrow’s challenges. As a result, for over ten years now, millions of farmers around the world have chosen to cultivate GM crops on 125 Million hectaresii of land to increase their yields whilst using fewer precious natural resources.
“It’s high time we got our messages straight” added Willy de Greef, Secretary General of EuropaBio “Climate change poses a huge threat to the survival of millions around the world through famine and disease. It’s our responsibility to stop talking shop and start leading by acknowledging, endorsing and applying the full range of tools available, including safe agricultural biotech solutions.” he concluded.
Notes to Editors:
ii ISAAA Press release February 11 2009
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EuropaBio's mission is to promote an innovative and dynamic biotechnology based industry in Europe. EuropaBio, (the European Association for Bioindustries), has 68 corporate and 7 associate members operating worldwide, 4 Bioregions and 25 national biotechnology associations representing some 1800 small and medium sized enterprises. http://www.europabio.org/